What is a Hearts of Iron IV National Focus?


Like most Paradox games Hearts of Iron IV has a myriad of options and decisions to make. Setting a National Focus is one of the many things that will help your nation become the superpower it is destined to be. It’s one of the first things you should do when starting a new game. There were no DLCs enabled for this game.

Common themes for development of a country are what a National Focus consists of. These themes can, for example, be political, research, industry, stability or territorial expansion. A National Focus typically takes 70 days to complete although some can take as little as 35 days.

A National Focus typically costs 1 political power unit per day and usually takes 70 days to complete. In the vanilla version (no DLCs) of the game Germany, Italy, Japan, Soviet Union, France, United Kingdom, United Stated and Poland each have their own unique, individualized National Focus trees, all other countries use the same generic tree.

Selecting an HOI4 National Focus

Selecting a National Focus is one of the first things you should do in Hearts of Iron IV and it seems that all focus trees, including the generic one, have mutually exclusive options. For instance, in the generic focus tree fighter focus and bomber focus are mutually exclusive, meaning you can only select one out of the two of them.

You can access the National Focus tree through the alert that pops up when one isn’t selected, or you can click on the government flag in the upper left corner to bring up the Political screen. At that screen you can click on the Select a National Focus button to access the National Focus tree.

One thing that is very easy to overlook is the Continuous National Focuses, you will probably need to scroll to the very bottom left of the screen to even see them. These are focuses that stay in effect until you change to another focus. They provide things like a 20% bonus to dockyard output or a bonus to construction repair, which increases factory repair speed by 50%. Good to use if you’ve recently been bombed.

German National Focus Tree

Germany has a National Focus tree with five paths, a Four-Year Plan, Air Innovation, Army Innovation, Rhineland and Naval Rearmament.

Germany’s Four-Year Plan focuses mainly on diplomatic and economic efforts. Once the Four-Year plan has been successfully implemented (70 days) Germany gains bonuses in industrial research (100%) and a political advisor who gives a 10% bonus to infrastructure, civilian factory, refinery and railway construction speed. This opens three more paths with German names, you’ll need to rely on the tooltips to tell you what the benefits are unless you can read German.

Westwall makes the political advisor Fritz Todt available. He gives a 20% bonus to land fort, coastal fort and anti-air construction speeds. The next path in the tree grants a 10% increase in infrastructure and railway construction speed. Other paths provide similar bonuses to other aspects of your country.

UK National Focus Tree

The UK has a unique National Focus tree that has five areas of specialization, political, research, industry, stability and war support.

Unlike Germany and Russia they have no four or five-year plan but do have four broad paths that can be taken, Cryptologic Bomb, Limited Rearmament, Reinforce the Empire and Steady As She Goes. Cryptologic Bomb gives the UK a 100% research bonus for decryption methods and computing technology.

Many times, further developments in one path rely on fulfilling requirements in another branch. In the Cryptologic Bomb path, the next item is The Tizard Mission but that can’t be undertaken until the Limited Rearmament path is taken and the Air Defense and Radar options are completed.

A National Focus can also have other prerequisites that must be fulfilled before it can be undertaken, even at the first tier. The UK’s Cryptologic Bomb is a first-tier item, but it can’t be undertaken until you are at war with Germany and if Poland is not in a faction with Germany.

The interesting thing about some of the National Focuses is that they can be bypassed if certain requirements are met. Since I’ve been using the UK’s Cryptologic Bomb as an example, I’ll stick with it. In order to bypass that focus and get the next items in the path you either need to be at war with Germany and Poland also must join a faction that includes Germany. There are other requirements that can be met to bypass other items.

Generic Focus Tree

The generic focus tree is used for all countries that don’t have unique trees and the number of unique trees available depends on how many DLCs you have enabled. The generic focus tree has five paths. In the generic version of the focus tree, you can choose Army Effort, Aviation Effort, Naval Effort, Industrial Effort and political effort. Most of these result in cost reductions and experience gains at the start.

How Do You Set National Focus in HOI4?

You can set a National Focus in two basic ways. You can either click the alert when it pops up at the top of the screen or access it through the political screen. That screen is accessed by clicking on your country’s flag in the upper left corner.

To set a focus first hover the mouse cursor over the item and see if there are any prerequisites. If there are make sure you meet them. If you don’t meet the prerequisites, then that focus cannot be started until you do. If unsure, or if you want to begin working on that focus, click on the focus item to bring up a dialog box with more information. Efforts won’t begin on that item until you click the Start button or press the enter key. If efforts can’t be started the Start button will be inactive plus, you’ll see a tooltip telling you that you don’t meet the requirements.

What Countries Have Focus Trees in HOI4?

All countries have a focus tree in Hearts Of Iron IV. In the vanilla version (no DLCs) Germany, Italy, Japan, Soviet Union, France, United Kingdom, United Stated and Poland have unique focus trees, the rest of the countries have the same generic focus tree. If you have DLCs enabled, they can provide more. For example, the Man the Guns DLC gives a unique focus tree to Mexico, the Netherlands plus it expands the focus tree for the US and UK.

How Do Focus Trees Work In HOI4

Focus trees work by providing bonuses to things like construction times and country stability. If the prerequisites are met the only investment for these is time and political power. They typically take 70 days to complete.

Rich Gallien

I've always liked board games like chess and PC games, especially space based strategy games, which lead to the creation of this site. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it and updating it with new games!

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